I’ve settled inn to my new life in Nkhotakota. Needless to say, it’s a different life from what I’m used to. But like everywhere else in the world, routine kicks inn before you know it. We usually spend the day at the cultural centre. Teaching music theory, giving instrument lessons and planning various events and projects. Last week that routine was interrupted by a road trip to the Kungoni Centre at the parish of Mua Mission.
The centre is a three-hour drive from Nkhotakota. Bjørnar and I got to join some happy few selected students and staff from Nkhotakota Cultural Centre, in our very own personal mini-bus. Just the fact that we rode a mini-bus without having to sit on somebody’s lap, was a treat. That it was a top gang and a top destination didn’t hurt either.
Kungoni centre was founded in 1976 by Canadian priest/anthropologist/artist Claude Boucher Chisale. It contains a museum, art gallery and showroom in addition to a lodge and restaurant. It’s dedicated to showing off some of Malawi’s cultural inheritance and it’s one a must-sees for tourists and Malawians alike.
It might seem like an everyday trip. Something a Norwegian school class would do once a month. It wasn’t. The trip alone is a luxury most schools can’t afford. Learning about traditional culture isn’t necessarily a priority either.
After a thorough tour of the grounds we all sat down with Robert, our inspiring tour guide. He asked one of the students why she spent her free time studying traditional dance at the cultural centre. “Surely this isn’t a career path?”, he challenged her. She answered that she doesn’t care what people say. She thinks that it’s important to do. That answer alone made my trip. Plus the fact that we all sang the Norwegian anthem En bussjåfør on our way back.